Although date night ideas are probably something needed now more than ever, that is not the kind of date night I'm talking about. I'm talking about how one recent evening turned into researching dates--the fruit!
My husband made a quick, unexpected trip to the store and I asked him to pick up some organic dates if he came across any. I was really in the mood for my date shake and had been out of dates for about 3 weeks.
He came back with two packs of them and said they were $9.99 each. I thought, whatttt? We could have bought a giant bag, like five pounds, from [insert bulk store here] for like $15. He didn't see the sign saying they were that much and ended up doing self checkout, so he just bought them anyways. I was sticker shocked for sure, but also really happy to have dates again and immediately opened the package to start soaking them. Then I thought oh, they have pits in them? Okay...well they aren't hard to remove...but man, pricey AND they have the pits? This is the pits lol.
As I proceeded to de-pit (or is it just "pit"?) the dates, I realized wow...these are really soft. They seem so much juicier than the pitted dates. So I soaked them in a glass of water like I usually do, but I only used 4 or 5 (where I normally would use 8 to 9) because they were a lot bigger and well, a lot more expensive.
Hours later, I made a shake with them. We had picked up fresh strawberries at the market, so even though I was craving my regular chocolate date shake, I made a strawberry-banana-date one instead. OH. MY. GOODNESS. That's where date night came in.
I took my first sip and wooooooah! It was so sweet. How can that be? I used half the amount as usual. I guessed because they had the pits intact and were much softer, more delicate?
Then, my search engine tour began. Come to find out, what he picked up at the store were Medjool dates, the "fruit of Heaven," as written on the package. The bulk store organic dates I get are Deglet Noor. They're pitted, not as juicy, and very firm. So hard that my blender sounds like I'm blending ice when they're in there, even after soaking for hours.
Medjool dates never come pitted. The fruit is too soft to put through a mechanical processing. And, they're actually a ripe, fresh fruit even though they look dried because they're dark in color. Medjools are rarely treated with pesticides (they thrive in such dry region, insects aren't usually an issue).
Compared to Deglet Noors, Medjools are also MUCH sweeter (which explains why even when using half the dates I was surprised by the sweetness)!
There are other date varieties, but these two are the most commonly found in The Land of the Free. Oh, and I found out that they grow on a date palm tree, similar to a coconut!
Isn't this so interesting? I was researching dates all night. After a couple of hours my hubby looked over my shoulder and started laughing and said, "you're still researching dates?!" Haha! Yep, I sure was!
Maybe I should really do a true date night post soon, whattya think?! I hope you learned something and if you get a chance to try both varieties, let me know which is your favorite! As always, #GetSatiated.